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Darwin Correspondence Project

To Fritz Müller   18 March 1869

Down. | Bromley. | Kent. S.E.

Mar 18 1869

My dear Sir

Since I wrote a few days ago & sent off three copies of yr book, I have read the English translation, & cannot deny myself the pleasure of once again expressing to you my warm admiration.1 I might, but will not, repeat my thanks for the very honourable manner in which you often mention my name; but I can truly say that I look at the publication of yr essay as one of the greatest honours ever conferred on me. Nothing can be more profound & striking than yr observations on development & classification. I am very glad that you have added yr justification in regard to the metamophoses of insects, for yr conclusion now seems in the highest degree probable.2 I have re-read many parts; especially that on cirripedes with the livliest interest. I had almost forgotten yr discussion on the retrograde development of the Rhizocephala.3 What an admirable illustration it affords of my whole doctrines! A man must indeed be a bigot in favour of separate acts of creation, if he is not completely staggered after reading yr essay; but I fear that it is too deep for English readers, except for a select few.

With cordial gratitude & respect believe me my dear Sir | yours truly | Charles Darwin


See letter to Fritz Müller, 14 March 1869 and n. 1. CD’s annotated copy of Dallas trans. 1869 is in the Rare Books Room–CUL (see Marginalia 1: 609).
For the text of Müller’s addition on insect metamorphosis, see Dallas trans. 1869, pp. 119–21. Müller had argued that metamorphosis in insects was not inherited from a primitive ancestor but had been acquired at a later period.
Müller had hypothesised that Rhizocephala probably developed from a conventional cirripede, with its cement ducts converted into nutritive filaments and without any protective covering, limbs, or mouth (see Dallas trans. 1869, pp. 137–9).


Marginalia: Charles Darwin’s marginalia. Edited by Mario A. Di Gregorio with the assistance of Nicholas W. Gill. Vol. 1. New York and London: Garland Publishing. 1990.


On English edition of Für Darwin; CD’s gratitude and admiration.

Letter details

Letter no.
Charles Robert Darwin
Johann Friedrich Theodor (Fritz) Müller
Sent from
Source of text
The British Library (Loan MS 10 no 28)
Physical description

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 6668,” accessed on 22 June 2021,

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 17